Meghan McCain Reveals Why She Left ‘The View,’ Speaks on Joy Behar Feud

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for TIME Inc.)

Meghan McCain said The View is a toxic workplace that grinds down Republican hosts until they leave. She complained to her producers and bosses at ABC for years about the culture there, but she said they ignored her. Now, two months after she left the show, McCain says she’s happy with her decision and will never go back to host.

Meghan McCain details her struggles at The View in her new book Bad Republican, out this week. She explained to Variety why she left the show and her relationship with the other hosts.

McCain joined the daytime talk show in 2017 and left in August. She thought the show brought her on to give a conservative perspective to the mostly liberal panel. But shortly after she started, she realized the show was only paying lip service to balanced discussions. She said she felt like their punching bag.

“It was the way topics were addressed,” she said about how the show is formatted. “Each host picks a topic. They give you a list at night. I would obviously choose the one that made Democrats look bad. It was much harder to get those on-air because all the producers are liberal, all the hosts are liberal. … I used to say, “This is crazy-making. You’ve got to hire more Republicans on staff.

“I always thought for TV, for the viewers watching, it benefits everybody to have more balance. I didn’t feel like there was balance.”

The show eventually hired a Republican producer for her, but McCain says it didn’t change much.

Candace Cameron Bure recently also said that she felt cornered and alone as the sole conservative voice on the panel when she hosted The View in 2015-2016.

Meghan McCain: I think Joy Behar Hated Me

It all became too much for McCain two days after she returned from maternity leave. She said she was suffering from postpartum anxiety and was working out of a remote studio in Washington, D.C. because of COVID-19 protocols.

Meghan McCain got into a heated back-and-forth with co-host Joy Behar. When McCain playfully jabbed “Oh, Joy. You missed me so much.” Behar snapped back “I did not miss you. Zero!”

McCain said she cried during the commercial break after that comment.

“After the show, I went back to my office, and I had a panic attack,” she told Variety. “… I couldn’t compose myself. I threw up in the garbage can. (Because) I was so overcome. This is my narrative — ‘I come back from maternity leave and no one missed me.’ I knew it was going to be everywhere.”

She asked Behar’s producers for an apology, but they said she wouldn’t give one. Though, McCain isn’t sure if they told Joy Behar about her request.

The two women openly feuded on the show for years, but McCain said she realized that day — Jan. 5, 2021 — that she needed to leave the show.

When McCain started the show, she’d hoped she and Behar would be friends. They have a lot in common — political differences aside — and there were “pockets of time” when the women got along. But Behar hadn’t been mean until that day. McCain wasn’t sure why she made such a hurtful comment on the air.

“I don’t know,” McCain said. “She might have hated me.”